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How to use the Advanced Search in Outlook?

Author: Kelly Last Modified: 2024-07-12

After you activate the Search Tools in Outlook 2010 and 2013, you can search items directly by attachments, subjects, categories, flags, etc. However, some things always go out of control and you cannot do it easily, such as searching messages between two dates, etc. Actually the Advanced Find feature can help you custom your search criteria and make your special searching easily.

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Utilizing Advanced Find in Outlook

arrow blue right bubbleFirst of all, open the Advanced Find dialog box

  • In Outlook 2007, you can open the Advanced Find dialog box by clicking the Tools > Instant Search > Advanced Find.
  • In Outlook 2010 and 2013, the following steps will walk you through opening the Advanced Find dialog box:

Step 1: Put the cursor at the Search box to activate the Search Tools.

Step 2: Go to the Options group on the Search tab, and click the Search Tools > Advanced Find.

arrow blue right bubbleAdd Search criteria to narrow your search results

In the Advanced Find dialog box, go to the Messages tab, and enter corresponding search criteria in each field, and then click the Find Now button.

Please note that the more search criteria you entered, the less and accurate result of messages it will find out.

arrow blue right bubbleCustomize search criteria and make special searching

The Advanced Find feature allows you to define search criteria, and helps you search messages with special factors. Here we will walk you through it with the example of searching messages between two dates.

Step 1: Go to the Advanced tab in the Advanced Find dialog box.

Step 2: Click the Field > Date/Time Fields > Received. See the following screen shot:

Step 3: Click the Conditior box, and select the between from the drop down list. See the following screen shot:

Step 4: Enter two dates in the Value box, and then click the Add to List button.

Please note the two dates should be in the format of <Value 1> and <Value 2>, such as 11/20/2013 and 12/30/2013.

After you click the Add to list button, the customized search criteria will be added to the Find items that math these box immediately.

Step 4: Click the Browse button to specify the folder in which you will search for messages.

Please note that the Search subfolders option is unchecked by default in the Select Folders dialog box. If necessary, please check this option.

Step 5: Select the customized search criteria in the Find items that match these box, and then click the Find Now button.

Then the searching results will be listed at the bottom of this Advanced Find dialog box in a minute.

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While the native Advanced Find in Outlook is powerful,  Kutools for Outlook’s Advanced Search takes it a step further by offering more refined search options and the ability to save custom searches for future use.

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Step 1. Enable the Advanced Search ' feature

1. After downloading and installing Kutools for Outlook, navigate to the Kutools tab and click Advanced Search.

2. The Advanced Search pane shows up.

Step 2: Add Search criteria to get your search results
  1. Choose the search scope from the Search scope drop-down list.
  2. Input text “comment” in the Text textbox.
  3. Specify the sender's email address in the From textbox.
  4. Choose the received time from the Received drop-down list.
  5. Click Search Now.


All emails that match the specified criteria will be displayed in the List pane, where you can also view the total number of matching items.

Save the custom search for future use

Step 1. Save the custom search

  1. Click the Save Current Scenario button.
  2. In the Kutools for Outlook dialog box that appears, input the name of the scenario in the Scenario name textbox.
  3. Click OK. Then the scenario is saved successfully.

Step 2. Reuse the custom search

Click the Open Saved Scenario button and choose the scenario you want to reuse.

This functionality is invaluable for users who regularly need to perform the same complex searches or who wish to keep consistent track of specific types of communications or data within Outlook.

Note: To apply the Manage Junk Email Filter utility in Kutools for Outlook, firstly, you should download and install Kutools for Outlook.

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Comments (4)
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This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
is there a way to show how many results?
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
In place of using the stupid ribbon *after* you've already started.. .. its easier from the get go to either click the folder you want to search in, or anywhere in the main outlook view press and hold CTRL + Shift, press F (for find) then let all three keys go .. and INSTANTLY you have the advanced search dialog box .. where you can type your keyword, set the option for subject & message body, and the advanced tab if you need it .. AND the browse button.

Three keys 1 time, and you're already there, rather than click type click type click click click click .. CLICK! :(

the ribbon is retarded, the people at microsoft that thought this thing was better should've been dragged behind a stampeding horse in a napsack, and when the horse stopped, people with pool noodles and sticks should've started beating on the persons some more.. why the noodles? so the person wouldn't know if the next hit were stick or styrofoam, maybe then they'd get the idea that some things are hard, and you have to learn them, because the mushy styrofoam doesn't do the trick.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
I think a simpler solution is add the advanced search to the quick access toolbar (right click -> customize -> all commands -> select 'Advanced Find...' ->  add] - from then on a of you are looking to just search a specific folder as in your example, click on that first before the advanced find.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Hi I use Outlook 2013 & I download emails of only one month on my local machine using the new slider option. Now when i search & if the emails is not on my local machine I get search more on Server. However when i use Advanced Find, I can search emails from only the local copy. How can i user Advanced search to search emails which are not downloaded locally
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